The cooler weather often means larger electric bills, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. With a little ingenuity and some effort you can reduce your energy expenses while keeping your residential or commercial space nice and cozy.
1. Keep the Cold Air Out
If you are constantly letting in cold air, you are fighting a losing battle. Inspect the doors and windows to see if there are any gaps that are letting the chilly breeze in. If you find any, they can usually be fixed with inexpensive draft stoppers, foam weather stripping, or some caulking. Outlets are another common location for air to get in, so replace any that are damaged.
2. Take Advantage of the Sun
Even though the atmosphere around you is chilly, the sun is still as hot as ever. Use this to your advantage by opening up the curtains or blinds on the side of the building that faces the sun. Anytime you can use free heat to warm up the interior, you should. Just make sure to close the window coverings as soon as the sun goes down to keep the captured heat inside.
3. Use Your Ceiling Fans
Believe it or not, ceiling fans are not only meant to be used in the summer: Most of them actually have a winter setting that switches the direction of the blades from counter-clockwise to clockwise. In doing this, the fan will push the naturally rising warm air back down into the room instead of letting it settle on the ceiling. However, you will want to keep the speed set to low to maximize this effect and minimize any breeze being emitted from the blades.
4. Make Sure Your HVAC System Clean
Not only is a dirty HVAC system a fire hazard, it may also be hindering the ability of your heater. If there is a buildup of dirt and grime, the system has to work extra hard to get the heat to you—and even then, it may not be as powerful as it could be if the system was clean. You should be getting an inspection of your system yearly, and you should be changing the filter at least every three months, if not more.
5. Heat Limited Areas
The best way to approach the cooler weather is with the “heat the people, not the place” mentality. In other words, only worry about heating the rooms that are occupied. You can do this with space heaters in a residential setting, or with temporary heating rentals in a commercial setting. There is no need to pay to heat the entire building when you can safely and easily limit the heat to only the necessary areas, at only the necessary times.
The winter brings with it many wonderful memories, and if you can follow these five tips to keep your residential or commercial building warm, you won’t have to worry about an excessive electric bill getting in the way of the fun.